At Cloud Geeni, we come across many accounting firms who are doing I.T. wrong. And it makes us want to pull out what little hair we have left.
Some are relying on old and inefficient legacy systems that are slowing them down. Others have moved some of their applications into the cloud, but are finding they’re losing certain capabilities. Many more are encumbered by the high costs and hassle of maintaining their own physical infrastructure.
Your firm might be hesitant to migrate to the cloud because you’re worried about losing functionality, weakening security and sacrificing control. But there is a solution: Managed IaaS.
Let’s take a look at some of the biggest problems of accounting firms’ I.T. infrastructures, and how Managed Iaas platform can solve them.
Common I.T. problems, mistakes and risks that accounting firms face
Running your own I.T. infrastructure
Having your own on-site I.T. infrastructure places a huge financial burden on your firm. Purchasing, installing, operating and maintaining your own servers isn’t cheap, neither is the physical space and energy required to house your server(s). Most servers should be upgraded at least every five years, hiking up your overheads even further. Maintaining your own physical I.T. infrastructure comes with its fair share of hassle and headaches, too.
An old and inefficient I.T. system
If your legacy system is old and outdated, it’s probably slow, inefficient and prone to failures. A hybrid infrastructure, where some of your applications are in the cloud, can also slow you down. Moving individual applications into the cloud can result in a loss of functionality and unforeseen restrictions. Plus, juggling several cloud applications from different providers can create a complex system that can be difficult to manage.
The threat of cyber crime
Unfortunately, accounting firms are a prime target for cyber attacks, due to the large amount of funds and valuable financial information that they handle. Therefore, it’s crucial that your accounting firm has robust security measures in place when it comes to your I.T. infrastructure to safeguard you from this ever-present threat. A data breach or a loss of data can be highly damaging, resulting in your reputation being tarnished, client trust being eroded and your firm potentially being hit with lawsuits.
Walking the tightrope of compliance
Due to the highly sensitive and personal information that accounting firms handle, they need to make sure they’re adhering to government laws and regulations, notably General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the Data Protection Act 2018.
Failure to comply can be expensive. Your firm could face a fine of up €20 million (roughly £17 million) or 4% of annual global turnover, whichever is higher. For less severe infringements, the UK’s ICO (Information Commissioner’s Office) can issue warnings and reprimands; impose a temporary or permanent ban on data processing; and suspending data transfers to third countries.
What is Managed IaaS?
IaaS (Infrastructure-as-a-Service) is a cloud computing solution that modernises the way that your I.T. infrastructure is stored and accessed. IaaS involves “lifting” your existing infrastructure from its current servers and moving it into the cloud, where it’s stored and managed by Cloud Geeni.
Your entire infrastructure is moved in its current state as one entity, so you don’t have to worry about your I.T. system undergoing a major overhaul. Your I.T. system looks and feels exactly the same and your employees use their computers as they would normally – it’s just that your infrastructure is hosted in the cloud and stored on servers at our state-of-the-art UK-based data centres.
Because your infrastructure is hosted in the cloud, your employees can access it more easily and freely – on any device, at any time, from any place. IaaS also eliminates the need for your business to operate its own on-premise I.T. infrastructure.
Unlike other IaaS providers, we don’t just move your infrastructure into the cloud and then leave you to it. Cloud Geeni offers a Managed IaaS platform, meaning it’s managed and maintained by us. We monitor your service 24/7/365, and if any potential issues arise, our Microsoft-certified engineers are notified immediately, no matter the time of day.
How Cloud Geeni’s Managed IaaS can help accounting firms
Cloud Geeni’s Managed IaaS platform offers all the benefits of the cloud without the loss of functionality that you might get from moving individual applications into the cloud – at a much more cost-effective price.
Accessibility & Flexibility
Because your infrastructure is hosted in the cloud, your employees can access their files and data on any device, at any time, from any place, whether they’re at home, on the road or even on holiday, making their job (and life) easier. If your firm uses popular third party cloud apps like Sage, Iris or Seed, we can deliver these to you as part of our Managed IaaS platform.
Greater accessibility and flexibility for your employees means greater efficiency and productivity for your firm. With Cloud Geeni’s Managed IaaS platform, you benefit from top-of-the-line hardware (including high-powered servers and best-in-breed SSDs) that can help to speed up and supercharge your operations. Plus, you don’t need to manually transfer files from your work devices to your personal devices, which can not only waste valuable time, but increase the risk of a data breach.
Maximise billable hour
The billable hour is the cornerstone of the accounting sector. By enhancing your team’s efficiency and productivity, Cloud Geeni’s Managed IaaS helps to maximise your firm’s billable hour by ensuring that every minute is time well spent.
We all know how much accountants love to save money! Managed IaaS eliminates the overhead costs of maintaining your own infrastructure. Our guaranteed 99.9% uptime reduces the hard-to-quantify yet potentially high costs associated with downtime. What’s more, IaaS is available on a per-user subscription-based model, offering far greater value for money.
With Cloud Geeni’s Managed IaaS, you’re in safe hands. Your data is stored on secure servers at UK-based data centres that are Tier 3 designed and ISO27001 accredited, meaning they meet the highest security standards. Our data centres are equipped with iris-recognition and swipe card entry systems, CCTV surveillance and are monitored continuously by I.T. professionals.
Additionally, we implement cloud encryption, firewall protection, two-factor authentication for remote log-ins to bolster the security of your all-important data.
Zero downtime or data loss
Our comprehensive disaster recovery system safeguards your firm from any catastrophe. Your data is backed up daily and duplicated in near-real-time at a secondary data centre, so if a failure occurs at data centre 1, your infrastructure will failover at data centre 2. With a guaranteed 99.9% uptime, we ensure business continuity while eliminating the risk of data loss.
Whether it’s hardware failure, a power outage or a natural disaster, we keep your business up and running.
Benefits I.T. Staff
Moving your infrastructure to the cloud may get some pushback from your I.T. staff, but rest assured it’s actually good news for them. Because we manage your IaaS platform, this relieves your I.T. staff from the burden of constantly putting out fires/fixing issues. Managed IaaS frees up your I.T. team to innovate, explore new technologies, improve your business and add real value to your firm.
Peace of mind
You can rest easy knowing that your I.T. infrastructure is being monitored and maintained by cloud computing specialists 24/7/365. With our disaster recovery system, you don’t have to worry about your business being brought to a screeching halt in the event of a server going down, a power outage or severe weather. Our 99.9% guaranteed uptime ensures that you always remain up and running, with a service that performs at optimal levels at all times.
We’ll make sure you’re always remaining compliant. We confirm we adhere to GDPR compliance, and all our staff have attended and passed GDPR awareness training courses.#